The Rough & Tumble aren’t casual road dogs, but they aren’t letting on, either. From their upbeat, commanding stage presence and sharp banter, to their earworm-inducing melodies and heartstring lyrics, this dumpster-folk/thriftstore Americana duo refuses to bring the haggard road-worn stereotype to their audience– even though they’ve earned it. In fact, The Rough & Tumble have been elbowing out of most stereotypes.
“…a stunning set of songs… I must confess that this is an absolute gem of an album that finds the duo not only facing some deeply dark and personal demons, but raising their game to an unprecedented level too. The Rough & Tumble are always willing to push the boundaries of the folk-Americana genre, and incorporate some great sounds into the album.” —Martin Noakes, Great Dark Wonder, September 2019
“…they sure as hell are peaking high and mighty in this music and songwriting game.”—Brian Carroll, Red Line Roots, September 2019
“…beautifully passionate expressions of the social, political, and medical turbulence folks have been enduring since March 2020.”—Joe Vitagliano, American Songwriter
Find out even more on The Rough & Tumble website!
Toronto based duo, specializing in old-time country blues and jazz.
Po’Boy Jeffreys is a Toronto-born, blues musician and singer/songwriter, a master finger-picker of early twentieth century roots music and a gifted storyteller who’s been winning the affection of audiences for 18 or so years. He will be returning to the Old Church patio this year with Calamity Jane!
You pretty much have to see this duo live to get the real impact, but here’s a snippet to get you ready:
Rob Lutes will soon be counted amongst the ranks of the best in the industry. Insightful and meaty… gutty and gritty… A rare talent that keeps getting better with each project released, one listen will prove he is more than a passing fancy; this guy is here to stay. — Matt Large, Montreal Folk Festival
Since the release of his first album Gravity in 2000, Rob Lutes has steadily built a collection of exquisite songs that inhabit the intersection of blues, folk, Americana, and the contemporary singer-songwriter genre. As skilled delivering a Piedmont blues classic as he is performing his own acclaimed original songs, Lutes’s masterful fingerstyle guitar work and soulful voice bring an unmistakable intensity to his live performances.
One of six kids raised in the town of Rothesay, New Brunswick, the Montreal-based recorded his eighth album Come Around during Fall 2020. The follow-up to 2017’s Walk in the Dark, which earned Folk and Roots Radio’s “Album of the Year”, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocals, and multiple nominations, Come Around was co-produced by Lutes and longtime collaborator Rob MacDonald at MacDonald’s intimate Gambling Mule Studio. It features 11 original songs, a gritty cover of the traditional acoustic blues classic In My Time of Dyin’, and gorgeous backing vocals from celebrated singer-songwriter Annabelle Chvostek. Replete with Lutes’s literate, melodic songcraft, Come Around is another example of why Canadian critic Daniel Lemay calls Lutes “one of the most important songwriters of his generation.
Highlighting his unmistakable voice and acoustic fingerstyle guitar, the album sees Lutes melding influences of blues, Americana, folk and pop into a fresh electro-acoustic sound as he plots a pathway through the current state of human dislocation with wisdom and humour. On Knives, he views the extremes of love and loss against the realities of domesticity; in Lightning, painful flashes of recognition provide, in the end, a vision of hope; on That Bird Has My Wings, a song inspired by celebrated Buddhist author and death-row inmate Jarvis Jay Masters, Lutes finds hope of freedom in imagination and the natural world; and on Work of Art, the unlived life is recast as a thing of beauty. Lutes also writes movingly of places in his life, conjuring the joys of youth and the comforts of memory in Shediac Bridge, Fisherman’s Rest and Amsterdam. Mixed by celebrated engineer Rob Heaney (Cirque de Soleil, Patrick Watson), the album features some of Canada’s finest roots players, including the versatile MacDonald, veteran sideman Bob Stagg, and Juno-nominated bassist Solon McDade. Recorded at six different studios due to Covid-19 restrictions, the album represents Lutes’s vision for a sort of freedom and joy that can come from struggles, large and small. “We had to make adjustments in how we did this album. We could not be together,” Lutes says. “But from literally across the country, we found a kind of energy through these songs. It was as if we were in the room. We can share so much through common effort and support. That’s how this album was made, and it gives me hope.”
Apart from Come Around and Walk in the Dark, Lutes has released six other full-length albums, including 2009’s acclaimed Truth & Fiction and 2013’s The Bravest Birds which spent seven months in the Roots Music Report top 10 and hit #1 on the EuroAmericana Chart.
He performs solo, in duo with Quebec guitar legend Rob MacDonald, and in full-band format and as part of the roots supergroup Sussex, which has released two albums, Parade Day in 2016, and The Ocean Wide, which earned a 2021 CFMA nomination for Ensemble of the Year.
Lutes has had several of his songs recorded by other artists.
Awards and Nominations:
COME AROUND Nominated for four 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards – Album, Contemporary Singer, English Songwriter, Producer of the Year (with Rob MacDonald)
Nominated – 2022 Acoustic Act of the Year – Maple Blues Awards
It’s probably a good thing Carlos wasn’t there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols.
Carlos has been awarded Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen, Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada which includes Carlos’ eight time Harmonica Player of The Year wins at the Maple Leaf Blues Awards.
To say he plays the harmonica is like saying “Jimi Hendrix plays guitar”. He blows the blues harp through a prism — suddenly it seems he’s holding every colour in the musical rainbow right there in his hands. Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”, they could just as well be called “The Jazz Mongrels”). The emphasis is on blues, but they are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, jazz swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock.
The Blues Mongrels are: bassist Henry Heillig (founded the nine piece Latin band Manteca), and guitarist Eric St. Laurent. Get ready to trash all you thought you knew about the harmonica. The Blues Mongrels deliver a no-holds-barred display of fun and melodic virtuosity.
For more information about Carlos: http://www.carlosdeljunco.com
2010 JUNO NOMINATION for STEADY MOVIN’ cd
1997 – 2013 Harmonica Player of the Year – EIGHT time WINNER
2005 “Best Blues” Award – NOW Magazine, Toronto, ON
1998 JUNO NOMINATION for BIG BOY cd
1996 Blues Musician of the Year Award: Jazz Report Magazine
1993 Hohner World Harmonica Championship – Trossingen, Germany Two Gold Medals in both diatonic blues and diatonic jazz
“…a model of focus and urgency..a true virtuoso..
Brad Wheeler – The Globe and Mail
“One listen to the man who bent his first notes on the harmonica at the age of fourteen and it’s obvious he’s in a class with such greats as Toots Theilemans, Paul Butterfield, and Howard Levy…
Peter North – The Edmonton Journal
“FOUR (out of 4) STARS – Latest Cd Review: MONGREL MASH
It’s not likely that you’ll ever hear the harmonica played so well and in so many different ways than at the hands of Cuban-born Torontonian Carlos del Junco. But what makes his album an especial treat is the sheer let’s-do-it positive energy that radiates from the eclectic collection of nine tracks. Mongrel Mash refers to the crazy mix of styles, ranging from deep, heavy-duty blues-rock (“Mojo”) to Herb Alpert’s slightly cheesy “Slick,” and jivin’ “Lil’ Laptop” to sweet, rootsy ballad “The Field,” which arrives via languid dobro set-up. Del Junco may be the headliner, but the songs and arrangements shine the light on an excellent band of equals who all get some time in the sonic spotlight. There is something here to put a smile on anyone’s face — and it only gets better with each listen. My favourite: Del Junco’s own “My Favourite Uncle,” a gently hip-swinging sweep down Louisiana way.
John Terauds – TORONTO STAR
Northern Voodoo plays an eclectic mix of styles featuring acoustic and electric instrumentation
with Blues, Latin, Rock and R and B influences. Join them from 6pm to 8pm. Gate open at 5pm. “Pay -What-You-Can” on the ticket link.
It’s been a long year, but Covid and Lockdowns can’t keep a good trio down…Northern Voodoo keeps on keepin’ on. Rett Wills, Mike Acerra and Gerry Ratz are back at the Old Church outdoors for a cool Sunday August 28th evening of original, bluesy, swampy and soulful music.
James Brown (Guitarist, Composer, Educator) is one of Canada’s most talented and versatile musicians.
He has preformed and recorded with many leading artists and ensembles and has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s of original music. His 2009 recording, “Sevendaze” features Don Thompson, Quinsin Nachoff, Jim Vivian, and Anthony Michelli. Other recordings have featured Andrew Downing, Ernie Tollar, John Obercian and Christopher Lee.
James has also performed with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with Eric Idol), Toronto Philharmonia, Sound Streams Canada (with The Hilliard Ensemble), Art of Time Ensemble and CanStage. He also performed in the Canadian premiere of 2X5: a new work by New York composer Steve Reich.
James’ compositions range from solo guitar to symphony orchestra and have been performed and recorded by numerous ensembles and soloists including: Orchestra Toronto, Trinity Chamber Ensemble, Jeffrey McFadden, William Beauvais and The Montreal Guitar Trio.
James has a Master of Arts Degree in Composition from York University and is currently on Faculty at The Oscar Peterson School of Music (formerly: The Royal Conservatory School) and Metalworks Institute.
His recent composition “The Mosley Street Suite” was premiered at Koerner Hall in August 2021 and his fourth studio album “Song Within the Story”, (featuring Clark Johnston, Anthony Michelli and Mike Murley) will be released on NGP records in March of 2022.
Rick Fines is an engaging storyteller and songwriter. He has won MapleBlues Awards for Songwriter of the Year and Acoustic Act Of The Year (twice), won first place in the blues category of 2003 International Songwriting Competition, with B.B. King one of the judges, received nominations from both the Juno and the Handy Awards, played for legendary blues piano player Pinetop Perkins. Rick toured from Newfoundland to B.C. to the Arctic last year alone.
Rick has just released “Solar Powered Too” – A stunning collection of songs; stories sung in Fines’ richly textured voice, a voyage through blues and folk guitar styles.
Canadian roots music vet Rick Fines has had a long and storied career as one of the country’s hardest working musicians. He has toured across Canada countless times solo, as a duo or with a full band and has recorded over 14 albums and has been a guest on many others. Steeped in roots music, Rick Fines crafts a unique blend of warm-hearted blues, juke joint folk, and dockside soul that both embraces and defies the genres that influence him. As a veteran of the North American blues and folk circuits, he engages audiences with captivating songs, diverse guitar styling and his signature vocal growl. Rick’s career has seen him working in stellar collaboration and as a successful solo act. First gaining attention as part of the legendary Jackson Delta, he’s since released eight albums, including one with long-time collaborator, Suzie Vinnick.
On Fines’ newest release, the Juno-nominated Solar Powered Too, the bulk of the songs were recorded in a little gazebo in the North Kawartha woods, with solar power. You can hear the crickets and cicadas if you listen carefully.
“After spending a lot of my time playing on my National Steel, I knew I wanted to make another album for guitar and voice, only this time it would be mostly slide guitar on a steel bodied guitar”, says Fines. “I decided I wanted to return to my little cabin in the Kawartha Highlands and record again with the modest solar powered setup there – two panels and 4 golf cart batteries.”The seclusion of the recording process has paid off immensely – bringing to life the honesty of his lyrics and accessibility of his music.
With 11 originals and co-writes, and one cover of a Jesse Winchester song (That’s What Makes You Strong), Solar Powered Too is a powerful release, ripe with vivid images of sorrow, optimism, and the complexities of life. Featuring appearances from other respected Canadian artists such as Alec Fraser, Gary Craig, Roly Platt, Melissa Payne, Jimmy Bowskill, Rob Phillips, Suzie Vinnick, Stacie Tabb, Sherie Marshall and Samantha Martin, Solar Powered Too is Rick Fines’ most accomplished album to date. “Releasing an album during a pandemic, when all my gigs are cancelled is a little strange“, he says. “But this album was made with the help of my friends and it carries that strength on its journey.”
Following a series of sold-out solo acoustic performances, Michael Schatte is pleased to return to the Old Church Theatre with his electric band for a special Album Preview Concert on September 24th, 2022.
The new record in question is called Hero Worship, Volume I, the long-promised and hotly anticipated album of Schatte versions of classic songs by artists ranging from the globally famous to the internationally obscure. On September 24th Schatte fans will get to hear the band run through songs from the recording project by Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Richard Thompson, The Beatles, Nick Lowe, Harry Nilsson, David Wilcox, and more! Don’t miss what promises to be a unique and electrifying Michael Schatte Band performance prior to the new album’s release. This matinee concert runs from 2pm – 4pm, outdoors on the Old Church Patio.
Don’t miss what promises to be a unique and electrifying Michael Schatte Band performance outdoors on the Old Church Patio.
Big Little Lions are an award winning duo who were born out of a collaboration that won them a JUNO Award in 2014. Since then they have been cranking out infectious folk pop songs that are jam-packed with emotion and tight harmonies that sound like the product of two people working side-by-side instead of living in different countries.
They have released 7 albums to date, which have garnered them awards including the CFMA Ensemble of the Year, Independent Music Awards Americana Single of the Year and the John Lennon Songwriting Competition Song of the Year. Their critically acclaimed music has appeared on the CBC’s Top 20 and featured on shows like q and Vinyl Cafe. The duo consists of Paul Otten and Helen Austin, both hugely prolific songwriters – their music has been placed in hundreds of movie trailers, ads, network TV shows and on MTV.
Their latest release, Happy Accident is being released June 3, 2022.
“The music of Big Little Lions — the duo of Helen Austin and Paul Otten – is a blissful marriage of new folk and sophisticated pop. The award-winning songwriters have voices that blend like magic and whenever they make music together it’s the cue for a heady mixture of soul, spirit and fun.“ [Mariposa Folk Festival]
“What is truly amazing about Big Little Lions is that its two members, Helen Austin and Paul Otten, were born to make music together, their voices made to combine, but they are in different countries. It just goes to show you, destiny is a powerful force.” [east of 8th].